Nonprofit organizations serve the needs of particular groups or communities through research, advocacy, philanthropy, and social services. Since the resources of these organizations are limited, much of their work depends on financial acumen and strategic thinking. By earning an online bachelor's degree in nonprofit management, you can give nonprofits the skills they need in areas like business administration, accounting, and entrepreneurship. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonprofit managers may earn a wage premium compared to their for-profit counterparts, and the demand for social and community service managers is expected to grow 10% in the next seven years. An online bachelor's in nonprofit management allows you to make a real difference in the world while working in an industry with great employment and salary prospects.
What Are The Best Online Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management Programs?
Colorado State University
|Greenwood Village, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Colorado State University-Global Campus, based in Greenwood Village, Colorado, opened in 2007 and offers online classes. The college, also a part of the Colorado State University System, features 14 undergraduate degrees and 25 bachelor degree specializations.
The bachelor of science in business management with a specialization in public and nonprofit management requires students to complete 120 credits, including 10 core courses and two prerequisite classes. For the specialization in public and nonprofit management, students must take 15 additional credits. The specialization classes teach students about public administration, principles of finance for the public sector, public policy and strategy, fundraising and grant writing, and community development. On average, most students take 3.5 years to complete this degree.
Classes run completely online with no set meeting times, and the program offers monthly start dates. The college, which features rolling admission, accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree. To receive admittance, applicants must show proof of two years of work experience or they may receive provisional admittance with one year of work experience.
Additionally, eligible applicants must hold 12 transferable college credits from a regionally accredited college to apply for the nonprofit management degree online. Candidates can submit their transcripts to the college's summary evaluation to see how many credits will transfer with results in 1-3 days. The college also offers a tuition guarantee, which means students pay the same rate from freshman to senior year.
City Vision University
|Kansas City, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 69%||
Located in Kansas City, City Vision University began offering Christian-based distance education classes in 1998 thanks to the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. The college offers 7 associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees.
The bachelor of science in nonprofit management requires students to complete a total of 120 credits. The college accepts up to 90 transfer credits from an accredited college. Students can also transfer as many as 30 credits from ministry experience toward their bachelor's degrees. The program runs asynchronously online with some on-site experience.
The degree focuses on giving students a foundation in the practical skills needed to manage business affairs for nonprofits. Students take classes in fundraising, accounting, budgeting, nonprofit human resources, and grant writing. Courses also integrate biblical principles. The faith-based curriculum prepares graduates to find entry-level positions in ministries, nonprofits, education associations, foundations, and social services. Graduates work as fundraising managers and social and community services managers. This program also prepares students to pursue a master's of business administration degree.
Enrollment is open year-round and the college offers five start dates. Classes run on five eight-week terms. Students should apply up to one month prior to the start of a term. The degree takes 1-4 years to complete. Students who have received full Pell grant funding sometimes graduate with a nonprofit management degree online in one year. All bachelor's degrees cost a flat rate of $7,000 a year.
|Huntington, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
A Christian college, Huntington University began in 1897 through the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. The college, which incorporates Christian faith-based learning, offers more than 70 programs.
Students can take the bachelor of science in not-for-profit leadership completely online or attend classes on campus in Huntington, Indiana. The program requires students to complete 128 credits, including 51 credits specifically in the major.
Students learn the basics in nonprofit fundraising and how to manage or even start their own nonprofit organization. The degree gives students a foundation in business and accounting. The core curriculum also includes classes such as biblical studies, understanding the Christian faith, and old testament survey.
The online courses run in five-week terms. The program runs asynchronously with weekly deadlines, which lets students design their class schedules around their work and family life. Additionally, students can access the RichLyn Library resources, including journals and e-books, through the online discovery tool.
This degree prepares students to work in consulting, fundraising, grant writing, and advocacy. Many students also go on to earn a master of business administration or master of arts in organizational leadership. To apply for the nonprofit management degree online, students need up to two years of experience from a regionally accredited college. Students also require at least a 2.0 GPA. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements may receive conditional admittance.
University of the Southwest
|Hobbs, NM||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 23%||
The University of Southwest, a private Christian college founded in 1962 by B. Clarence Evans, provides students with faith-based online degrees and traditional classes held on its campus in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Offered through the College of Business, the 120-credit bachelor of business administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management runs entirely online with no in-person requirements. Students can also take a hybrid version of the program which combines online and on-campus learning. Before taking major requirements, students must complete 45 core credits. Those core classes include computer, religion, mathematics, English, social sciences, and lab sciences classes. After students complete their core curriculum, they must take 33 credits in business and 30 credits in their emphasis.
The well-rounded curriculum prepares graduates to land positions in nonprofits, international institutions, and nongovernmental organizations. After graduation, many students choose to enroll in the master in business administration. The bachelor's degree in nonprofit management online program at its core focuses on business with courses in marketing, accounting, and leadership. Major requirements include classes such as business law, principles of finance, principles of management, and nonprofit social entrepreneurship.
First-time freshmen applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and they must submit their SAT or ACT scores. Freshmen must also attend orientation at the campus. Transfer students need at least a 2.0 GPA. Students transferring credits from an accredited college must complete at least 62 credits at USW.
Toccoa Falls College
|Toccoa Falls, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
A Christian institution, Toccoa Falls College was established in 1907 by cofounders Richard and Evelyn Forrest, and today offers 35 majors and 43 minors.
The college features 10 online majors, including the 126-credit bachelor of science in nonprofit business administration. Students can pick from minors in marketing, management, organizational leadership, physical education, coaching, sport management, and nonprofit business administration. The college only offers the nonprofit business administration degree online.
Students learn all of the basics needed to land administrative positions in the field and about nonprofit terminology and principles. Classes also help students strengthen their decision-making and communication skills. Before taking any major coursework, students must complete a minimum of 64 credits in their core curriculum. The curriculum also incorporates biblical values. To graduate, students must complete 15 credits in Bible and theology coursework. After earning their degrees, many graduates find work in faith-based organizations, social services, government agencies or nonprofit organizations. Applicants must demonstrate a "Christian commitment and character."
An overall 2.0 GPA is required to graduate or a minimum "C" grade for each class. The college offers rolling admission. Transfer students must complete at least 32 credits at Toccoa Falls College.
Once applicants submit an application, an online admissions counselor will contact them. First-time freshmen students must submit SAT or ACT scores, transcripts, and a 200-300 word essay with their online applications. Transfer students also need to submit transcripts and an essay about their relationship with God.
What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management?
An online bachelor's degree in nonprofit management typically focuses on leadership and business, while also exploring the social and cultural issues that are at the core of nonprofit missions. Some schools prioritize American nonprofit institutions, while others offer an international focus. Many programs also require a senior thesis or capstone project. Below are a few examples of courses that are typically offered in nonprofit management programs:
- Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations: In this course, students learn about the diverse range of nonprofits operating across the United States, from public policy think tanks to private philanthropies. The course also covers the history of nonprofits and the legal and regulatory environments in which they operate.
- Grant Writing: Nonprofit organizations constantly apply for grants from public and private institutions. This course on grant writing teaches students how to pitch fundable projects, identify potential sponsors, and write effectively. Students also learn how to create budgets, propose programs, and engage in peer review.
- Business Ethics: This course on ethics and ethical decision making introduces students to moral dilemmas often encountered by nonprofit managers in the field. Students also apply ethical paradigms to current events and investigate how nonprofit organizations can make positive interventions.
- Volunteer Management: The dynamics of governance are taught in this course. Students learn the roles of various members of the nonprofit community, from executive directors and trustees to volunteers and constituents. The objective of this class to understand how to maximize volunteer contributions and maintain organizational effectiveness.
Accreditation for Online Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management Degrees
Identifying schools that are properly accredited is an important part of selecting the right nonprofit management degree program. Accreditation proves that a school has undergone a rigorous and independent review process and ensures you receive a high-quality education. There are several types of accreditation, however, including regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditation is typically the most well-recognized and qualitatively rigorous form of accreditation, while national accreditation is usually reserved for vocational and other specialized programs.
In addition, there are independent bodies that accredit programs in a particular field, such as engineering or medicine. No specific accreditation boards exist for nonprofit management degree programs, but you should ensure the program you choose is regionally or nationally accredited. For students who have a business focus, it may be useful to ensure your program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Regional, national, and specialized accreditation is overseen by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education (ED). To find out more about accredited schools, you can download the latest list of accredited institutions on the ED's website, or search for a specific school using the CHEA school database.
Career Opportunities for Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management Graduates
The leadership aspect of a nonprofit management degree lends itself to multiple areas, including public and government administration, corporate governance, human resources management, and community safety. Those with an online degree in nonprofit management can go on to become finance officers, directors of development, and executive directors at some of the most well-recognized nonprofit institutions in the United States. Most positions are full-time and include traditional and non-traditional working hours. Here are a few examples of the various jobs open to those with a degree in nonprofit management:
- Emergency Services Director
- Natural disasters and emergencies require directors who can prepare plans and think quickly. Emergency management directors coordinate with state and local governments, elected officials, and nonprofit organizations to bring necessary materials to devastated people and environments.
- Administrative Service Manager
Nonprofits large and small need administrators to navigate the complex elements of multiple divisions. Administrators manage records, maintain facilities, and coordinate office productivity, all while maintaining government regulations and safety standards for the company.
- Compensation and Benefits Manager
As part of a larger human resources team, a compensation and benefits manager oversees how employees are paid and coordinates retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits offered to a nonprofit's or company's employees.
- Public Relations and Fundraising Manager
Public relations managers write press releases, coordinate external communication, and design advertising promotions for nonprofits. A fundraising manager identifies and contacts potential donors, applies for grants, and develops fundraising strategies.
- Social and Community Services Manager
Social and community managers assess the effectiveness of nonprofit or government programs. They develop budgets, manage community outreach, and advocate for awareness of social issues. They also oversee the provision of services to underrepresented groups and individuals.
BACHELOR'S IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT SALARY
Location, job category, and level of experience all impact the annual earnings of nonprofit managers. For example, emergency services directors with many years worth of experience can earn upwards of $122,000 a year, while the salaries of administrative services managers hovers around $59,000 a year. Mid- to senior-level staff can earn salaries comparable to their private sectors counterparts. Below is a table of median salaries for a variety of positions in the nonprofit and public sphere:
Median Salary by Occupation
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Entry-Level Salary||Mid-Career Salary||Late-Career Salary|
|Emergency Services Director||$98,660||$94,000||$98,000||$122,000|
|Administrative Service Manager||$58,943||$48,000||$59,000||$66,000|
|Compensation and Benefits Manager||$96,980||$89,000||$103,000||$105,000|
|Public Relations and Fundraising Manager||$62,858||$51,000||$68,000||$75,000|
|Social and Community Services Manager||$45,250||$41,000||$51,000||$60,000|
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management Program
Financing your online bachelor's degree in nonprofit management may seem like an uphill battle. Even so, many funding opportunities exist, including scholarships, loans, and grants. Be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) to take full advantage of government funding opportunities including loans and federal work study. Many private scholarships also require you to fill out the FAFSA to qualify for need-based scholarships.
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- Best Online Bachelor's in Nonprofit Management Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location 1 City Vision University Kansas City, MO 2 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 3 Toccoa Falls College Toccoa Falls, GA 4 Huntington University Huntington, IN 5 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE